Lake Lawton Recreation Area in Brevard County closed during wildfire containment

A prescribed fire burnign through a wooded marsh

District staff are burning back Three Forks Marsh Conservation Area to contain a wildfire that ignited on Wednesday.

PALM BAY, Fla., Feb. 17, 2017 — Lake Lawton Recreation Area in Brevard County is closed until further notice as St. Johns River Water Management District and partnering agencies manage a wildfire that ignited Wednesday.

District staff today plan to burn a 100-acre area on the north side of approximately 2,600 acres already charred by a wildfire of unknown origins that ignited Wednesday. Friday’s planned prescribed burn will reduce fuels that can contribute to future wildfires during these extremely dry conditions.

Prescribed fire is the use of carefully planned fire purposefully set under stringent conditions to control the fire’s effects. Its benefits include restoring and maintaining natural communities, reducing chances of destructive wildfires, perpetuating fire-adapted plants and animals, cycling nutrients, controlling tree diseases, and opening scenic vistas. Prescribed fires help prevent wildfires by burning off fuels that naturally build up over time, while also helping to control the growth of woody shrubs.

Before conducting a burn, the district ensures wind and other weather conditions are correct for controlling the fire and minimizing the impacts of smoke to residents and traffic.

Partnering agencies on this burn are Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Brevard County Fire Rescue and Palm Bay Fire Rescue.